Kathua Rape Case: Delhi HC Orders Media Houses To Pay Penalty

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The Delhi High Court demands media houses pay a penalty for revealing the identity of the Kathua rape case victim. On Wednesday, the Court asked the media houses to deposit Rs. 10 lakhs as penalty towards the State’s rape victims compensation funds.  

Last week, Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar took suo motu cognisance of the publication of the name and photographs of the child. The Bench reminded media houses of Section 23 (Procedure for Media) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act. This section clearly states anyone who revealed the identity of a child victim can face a minimum of six months in prison.  

Showing concern, the Bench was quoted saying, “There are long term repercussions to the victim’s family, especially if there are other women in the house.”

The High Court has sought a response from The Hindu, Firstpost, The Indian Express, The Times of India, The Statesman, The Navbharat Times, The Pioneer, the Deccan Chronicle, The Week, India TV, NDTV and The Republic TV.    

The advocates representing the media houses have acknowledged their mistake and went on to apologize. The advocates stated the mistake was made due to the ignorance of the law.  

The Bench took note of the media houses’ apology and stated a further hearing would be held on the 25th April.

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